The Other I

February 27, 2009

Sputtering material

Filed under: Political thoughts,Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 9:23 pm

Two days ago the Royal Bank of Scotland announced the biggest corporate loss in British history.  It was something like 24 billion pounds sterling which is equal to about 36 million US dollars – a number which for the average person on the street is so gargantuan as to be incomprehensible.

Not so incomprehensible, though, that the average person on the street is not outraged that the British government negotiated a pension for the outgoing chairman who is responsible for leading the bank into this catastrophic hole when the bank had to be bailed out two months ago.

“Fred the Shred,” as he was known because he cut so many jobs during his tenure at the bank, is 50 years old.  For creating this corporate black hole land mark, he has been awarded an annual pension of £700,000 beginning immediately.  That’s more than a million dollars a year to comfort him for having to step down.

Voters are furious, because as a result of the government’s bail out, his pension is now fundamentally being funded by the taxpayer.

The government is claiming (somewhat lamely) that they didn’t realize the pension arrangement was negotiable, and so entered into what seems to be a legally-binding obligation.  At the moment they are reduced to publicly asking Fred the Shred to “do what is right” and give the money back.

Not surprisingly, he says no.

I couldn’t make this up, could I?

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